In response to the College Democrats’ Op-Ed April 26, the College Republicans firstly, want to reiterate how we also support the promotion of campus-wide political issues as mentioned by the College Democrats. We admire the efforts and passion the College Democrats display in their political ideology and agree with how both organizations go about conveying these issues to the students. We acquiesce with College Democrats both Republicans and Democrats in Washington are guilty of conducting themselves incompetently by using irresponsible rhetoric, but this does not reflect the College Republicans at Miami University.
With regards to the handouts we passed out on our “Fiscal Conservative Day,” the College Republicans intended to inform students about the candidates and issues the College Democrats support, not the organization itself. We used that factual information to draw a parallel between the similar decision-making that occurred with their organization in Oxford and with the Democratic Party in the nation’s capital.
As to the comment regarding that we attacked their organization, rather than the candidates and issues they support: we mentioned Strickland and Obama in our handouts, are these not candidates the College Democrats support? The Obama Administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress have spent more money in the past two years than any other previous other Administration combined. We were simply pointing out the irony the College Democrats have incurred a debt, just as their role models in Washington have and continue to create a rather historic deficit. Considering this, our handouts were not meant to be inflammatory, but informative.
In the letter, the College Democrats stated, “Not only is this damaging to the political climate on our campus, but it is also distracting from real policy issues and what our organizations aim to achieve.” We find it contradictory to say that our organization’s purpose is to increase political awareness, but then fail to recognize the connection from the College Democrats’ debt to our nation’s debt and deficit as a political issue.
In their letter, the College Democrats accused our factual information as rhetoric and inflammatory dialogue. They went so far as to insinuate our statement as libel. Is it libel to state facts? As The New York Times stated in 1993: “To meet the Supreme Court’s definition of libel involving a public figure, a quotation must not only be made up or materially altered. It must also defame the person quoted, and damage his or her reputation or livelihood.” We have to ask: Does it not contribute to inflammatory dialogue and irresponsible rhetoric for the College Democrats to imply libel, when they themselves admitted in the opinion piece that the College Republicans were stating factual information?
At Miami, the College Republicans have continually made fiscally responsible decisions without incurring any debt. While our budget has not been substantial in the past couple of years, we have made certain to spend within our budget, even limiting our speakers and events to remain accountable to our organization’s goals.
The Miami community should ask the same of the College Democrats as the American people are asking of our federal and local governments: please detail your plan to address the debt and deficit we face. While they have a plan with ASG to pay back their debt, we wish the College Democrats would have informed the students of more definitive ways they plan to tackle their debt instead of side stepping the issue with attacks on our character and by misinterpreting
As two organizations extremely vested in politics and the issues facing our nation, we hope not to create a rift between us. There is no doubt that we will diverge in terms of ideology, and consequently, will vary in terms of policy and decision-making. These disagreements between us are what contribute to a healthy rivalry and we look forward to working with them in joint events in the coming year. Through this, we wanted to bring forward our intentions and show the Miami community that not only did we present factual information, but also we did it in a way to bring awareness to a real policy issue, not to berate the College Democrats as a student organization. We sympathize with the College Democrats’ burden of inherited debt and we politely invite them to declare a joint denunciation of deficit spending, in the best interests of the people and future of our beloved nation.